17/04/2020

Dear Students, Parents and Carers

Thank you to everyone for your support during the first week of Term 2, this is not the way we want our school to look and feel. In saying that, I am very proud of the success we have had with our move to Remote and Flexible Learning and how seriously everyone has taken the Victorian requirements around schooling. There has been a lot of confusion and probably frustration around how the different states are governing schools and social restrictions.

The most important thing to remember is that Australia is a Federation and that each State has jurisdiction over schools, police, hospitals and public transport. For further information please refer to the following link;

https://www.australia.gov.au/about-government/how-government-works/state-and-territory-government

At the moment the rules are really clear for Victoria; All students and staff who CAN learn from home MUST learn/work at home from the start of Term 2 to prevent the spread of COVID19. The vast majority of our staff continue to work from home. Some staff have volunteered to supervise students from families who have exhausted every other avenue to provide supervision for their child/ren in the home. Again, I’d like to thank our families for taking this so seriously, please try to remain patient and positive, the current arrangements are for Term 2.

Please remember that you cannot decide to just send your child to school because you want to, you must have no other alternative for supervision. Parents will need to phone the college and then, if appropriate you will be asked to fill out an application for onsite attendance form. For each week your child/ren attends school these forms will need to be filled out the week prior. This is so important because the college only has a small number of staff available for supervision.

There have been a lot of positive comments made about how our students, families and teachers are engaging with Remote and Flexible learning and this is a credit to everyone.

Please remind your child/ren to check in with the teacher so that we are aware they are completing tasks. The college is still required to track student attendance even though we are learning in a Remote and Flexible way, so it is important students check in.

If you or your child/ren require any support either academically or emotionally please contact the college, we have our own and have access to other supports for families. I’ve also attached some information on how to talk to your child during Coronavirus.

I am certainly not an expert on Remote and Flexible Learning, my experience is limited to Tertiary Post Graduate education and emails between myself and students around problem solving activities in the early 2000’s. Personally I enjoyed the Flexible learning and found that if I clearly understood what the task was then I could usually achieve success. My tips would be to make sure that you have a comfortable chair, a clear desk and work environment and a strong commitment to the time that you need to spend learning. There are thousands of adults across the country achieving the highest levels of education every day in a remote and flexible way, this could be great practice for the future!

I am aware that a number of our parents are or have been practising teachers, however that is only a small number of you. As parents, please don’t feel like you need to teach your child/ren, this is the job of their classroom teacher, who is available online or contactable by phone from 9.00am – 3.15pm Monday to Friday.

To try and help families to support their child/ren I have included a link to an interview with Gabbie Stroud. Gabbie is a former teacher and educational author and commentator, she has written the following books; Dear Parents, Teacher, Teaching Australia, Measuring Up. Hopefully this helps.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570540103601651

Kind Regards
Damien Keel
College Principal